Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Olympic Dash!

Sorry, Folks. Promised the kids I'd sit down with them to watch the Olympics tonight, so just time for a quick update. I'll look back on the month properly tomorrow.

Monday's Betting

Marginally profitable day.

A winner for Northern Monkey (Ballista - Ayr - 2/1...Rule 4 deduction) but no luck for On The Nose (0/2) (although OTN had a cracker today!), or Winning Racing Tips (0/1).

A winner for Sportyy (Mayer to beat Garcia - 5/4) and Form Lab Lite in the MLS guaranteed a nice enough profit on the sports side of the portfolio. A very small loss reduced this slightly from Service X with one half loser and a void from two bets.

OK. Can Michael Phelps become the most decorated Olympian of all time? Let's find out...

Monday, 30 July 2012

Timing is everything.

As tomorrow is the last day of the month, there seems little sense in my writing a weekly review tonight when I can produce a monthly review of the figures in a couple of days time. So instead today, I thought I'd jot down a few thoughts on Sportyy, the tennis service I joined for the first time at the beginning of June.

I have mentioned before that a deliberate strategy of mine was to increase my turnover and the diversification that my portfolio could provide over the summer months. This strategy has largely been a success, with services such as Service X, Summer Of Football and Form Lab Lite mitigating what would have otherwise been large losses in June and have contributed a significant chunk of the profit for July (barring an absolute disaster tomorrow!). Unfortunately, Sportyy has not, so far, matched the success these other new services have enjoyed.

Firstly, my figures for Sportyy since joining: Staked 63pts, -27.968pts, roi -44.39%.

Not great, eh? That drawdown represents just shy of 35% of my bank for the service.

A little perspective is needed, I think. Racing Proofing have been proofing Sportyy's results for over 700 bets and have recorded an roi of almost 15%. That's a decent longer term track record to say the least, and when we see this I think we can say that I have just happened to join the service at the wrong time.

It really has been a horrible recent run. For a service whose strike rate lies around the 50% mark, to go through a run of 16 consecutive losses is quite something. The trouble is, because I don't know the service very well, I've not yet seen it when it's performing strongly. I've not had the advantage of having my confidence in the service developed by good runs. I don't yet have a feel for how the tipster operates, so when after a really bad run I see bigger stakes going on a 0.71/1 shot, followed by a 0.55/1 bet, a part of me wonders if losses are being chased.

It's here that experience has such massive value to the gambler. A year or so ago, I would undoubtedly have been negatively influenced by this recent poor run. Now, I just think here is a service that has performed extremely well for a good period of time and over a decent sample of bets, that is going through a bad patch. As a tipster, you don't do that if you chase losses, and you don't do that if you don't know what you're doing.

So, when my initial subscription period is up in September, do I stick or twist. Well I haven't yet sat down to work out exactly what I'll be doing with the portfolio once summer has passed. But if it's twist, it won't be this poor run that makes up my mind. It will be aspects around the practicalities of following and portfolio balance that will be the deciding factors.

Weekend Betting

In contrast to the previous weekend, these last couple of days have essentially been an exercise in treading water. Highlights were seeing On The Oche's World Matchplay antepost bet landed (so 2/2 for the antepost selections), a nice winner yesterday for The Market Examiner (Majestic Mannanan - Carlisle - 5/1), and a good winner on Saturday for Northern Monkey (Unex El Greco - Newmarket - 9/4). Not such a good weekend for Form Lab Lite, and between them, the others ended up even.

Friday, 27 July 2012

Fast one.

Typical, quick end of week update for you.

Thursday's Betting

Not a great day, unfortunately, with the continuing woes of Sportyy dictating that the day produce a loss. The run they are on beggars belief really and surely a change in fortune is imminent. There was a late winner yesterday but another three losers meant another substantial deficit.

A very small loss from Service X which found three winners, a void bet, and three losers.

On the nags, The Market Examiner's only wager was unsuccessful, Northern Monkey didn't produce a return from two bets either, but things were essentially evened out by On The Nose, who have now had five consecutive horses finish in second place, with the two today enough to secure a fair profit (Raajih - Uttoxeter - 14/1 and Arizona John - Doncaster - 6/1).

I ache. Badly. I'm not so much stiff as rigid. And I have a match tomorrow. Oh joy.

Have a great weekend folks. Anyone watching the Olympics?

Thursday, 26 July 2012

How to improve your child's maths.

So I'm sitting there with my lad, watching the arrers on the telly. He's nine. And he loves darts. (Had to get him a board for Christmas and naturally, I "have" to play against him every day. Fatherly duties and all that.)

Anyway, like I was saying, we were watching the World Matchplay last night, just the two of us. First off he asks what those women do who walk with the players onto the stage before leaving as the match is about to start. He gets the usual response in such circumstances of, "Ask your Mother". I kinda guess he's going to learn soon enough about the allure of the fairer sex, particularly those with pouty lips who wear low cut dresses and have legs that seem to go on forever, so he really didn't need an explanation from me.

Then, halfway through the first leg and completely out of the blue, he asks me to give him a three figure number.

"120", I say.

"Treble 20 / 20 / Tops", he says. "Give me another".

"Ok then", I say. "170".

He sighs slightly, looking bored, and scornfully says, "Treble 20 / Treble 20 / Bull". He then looks at me as if I'm a complete twat and says, "Give me a harder one, Dad".

Right then. I'll show the little oik. "137. And be quick about it."

Like a flash, back comes the response: "Treble 18 / Treble 17 / Double 16".

By now I'm quite impressed, but don't want to show it. So I change the subject..."Who do you fancy in this one then?", I ask.

"Quite fancy Wade, Dad, but I wouldn't back him at the odds".

What the ****!?! What am I creating? He'd only gone and checked on the internet. Now I know he's aware of betting, and I don't have a problem with that in itself. Since he took a vague interest his mental arithmetic has come on leaps and bounds. But even so. Where had he gained some sort of appreciation of value? Actually I ask that question and I know full well the answer. I'd explained it myself to him. Not sure if I'm educating him or corrupting him.

Should someone call Social Services?

Wednesday's Betting

Ended up being a decent day again, despite a shocking afternoon for Winning Racing Tips (0/3). The Market Examiner were the same (0/3), and a small loss for On The Nose who did manage to get one to place.

Sportyy's nightmare continued (0/2 which included a big bet on a 0.6/1 shot that went down). I'll write some thoughts on Sportyy soon, and in the meantime pray that the horiible run they're currently on comes to an end soon.

So where did the profit come from. Well, On The Oche's strong week continued, including another great 2/1+ winner (Terry Jenkins to beat van Barneveld - 2.1/1) and Service X came good overnight with four winners. Fortunately, with the way the services are staked, it all added up to a nice, if unspectacular profit on the day.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012


Just time for another quick update tonight.

Tuesday's Betting

Another good day.

Just the one bet from Northern Monkey and a nice winner (Picabo - Yarmouth - 4/1). On The Nose played in the same race but not with the same horse and were 0/2 overall. Winning Racing Tips hit the bar with an each way double that essentially returned stakes, and no luck for The Market Examiner (0/3).

On The Oche are finding some great bets at the World Matchplay so far this week and another storming winner found from two bets (Ronnie Baxter to beat Dave Chisnall - 2.61/1). Nice.

Not sure how much time I'll have tomorrow night either. I'm going to my first cricket nets for quite some time. Thought I'd take the game up again and after my tennis partner of last year decided to piss off down south, I've not had that outlet for my sporting excellence (*cough*) this summer. It could just be that the person typing the next blog post will be one knackered old has been unable to move due to using muscles that he didn't even know existed for the first time in years. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

The sun is shining on the Summer of Football.

Sorry about last night, chaps. Any readers of the blog from this time last year will know that I don't tend to get much time in the evenings during the midsummer months. I try and take the kids out on their bikes each evening through their summer holidays, the garden needs attention and there's good darts on the telly (plus the Olympics from the weekend). You know how it is.

Anyway, I mentioned over the weekend that I'd throw some thoughts out about Summer of Football.

When I read the initial SBC review, there were a couple of things that immediately appealed. I'm pleased to say that all the things that attracted me to the service in that review, have turned out to be the real plus points of the service, so it's all working out nicely at the moment (and says something about the accuracy of the review, too!).

Now before I go on, let's point out that I'm writing this in the midst of a pretty spectacular month to date. You can see the figures from yesterday's post, but anyone running at an roi of c.34% over 33 bets is likely to be getting plaudits, and rightly so. What I would say though, is that the impression I've gained over the last few months is that here is a service built on very solid foundations.

So what were the aspects to the service outlined by the SBC that so appealed and which have turned out to be an accurate portrayal of the service?

1. Easily achievable odds.
Absolutely. I would suggest that 90%+ of the time, I get odds better than those quoted in the email. I know James quotes the Bet365 odds (a bookmaker who won't lay me £1.50) but on almost every selection, equal or better odds are available elswhere. Of course this is something that could change as SOF gains in popularity and member numbers increase, so an eye will need to be kept on this, but at the moment, 10/10 for ease of odds availability.

Summer turnover.
My portfolio needed balancing during the summer months. Last year I suffered from a lack of diversity as all the football services I subscribed to shut down for the close season, leaving me only with racing. This made me vulnerable to the vagaries of variance which whilst an everpresent threat, represents a bigger danger when there are relatively few eggs in the basket. 33 bets in July to date show that SoF has contributed greatly to plugging this gap.

c. Steady returns.
Although at the time of the review the long term roi for SoF was around the 7% marker - possibly a little on the low side for some - the increased turnover and actual amount of points profit made was attractive (12 month ROC at that stage was 120%). It appeared from the review that here was a service that whilst perhaps not likely to reach levels of returns that could be described as spectacular, would contribute steadily and often. Every squad needs it's members who you will know will do a job for you. Take Ray Parlour in the 'Invincibles' squad of a few years back (*pause for a moment to reflect, remember, and sigh wistfully*) - he couldn't do what Thierry Henry or Robert Pires could do, but he always did a job and a highly effective one at that! This isn't damning SoF with faint praise. Not at all. It is in fact a huge compliment. And having said all this, you know how I'd describe July's performance to date? Yep. Spectacular.

Stick these three things together, and you have the makings of a sound addition to the portfolio. I'm happy to say that so far, I have had no regrets from my decision to join. As I've mentioned before, the summer was essentially a trial period for the sports services I joined but at this rate, SoF will have a longer term role to play. And I could have said that before this month's purple patch.

Monday's Betting

Very quiet after the weekend's fireworks.

The Winning Racing Tips bet finished placed for a tiny loss. No joy for The Market Examiner (0/1).

On The Oche had a solitary bet at the World Matchplay which was a loser. Didn't really get the opportunity to go into detail about Sunday's OTO performance, but great tip in Michael van Gerwen to beat the fancied Simon Whitlock (5/2). Of course the pro tipster/punter would say it was a great tip regardless of the result provided the selection represented real value at the price secured, but you all know what I mean.

Monday, 23 July 2012

July - Week 3

Really short of time tonight.

Suffice to say yesterday was an excellent day with eight services giving bets and seven of them producing a profit. Stars were Summer Of Football, On The Oche, and On The Nose.

Sorry I can't go into too much detail tonight. Things are pretty hectic with one thing or another at the moment so I'm having to keep things brief at the moment.

Anyway, July's figures:

Northern Monkey: Staked 34pts, +3.475pts, roi 10.22%
On The Nose: Staked 20.75pts, +4.473pts, roi 21.55%
Winning Racing Tips: Staked 6.2pts, -3.241pts, roi -52.27%
The Market Examiner: Staked 28pts, -4.83pts, roi -17.25%
Total roi 0.82%

Summer Of Football: Staked 33pts, +11.544pts, roi 34.98%
Form Lab Lite: Staked 29pts, +2.379pts, roi 8.2%
Sportyy: Staked 28.5pts, -14.63pts, roi -51.33%
Service X: Staked 209.5pts, +9.975pts, roi 4.76%
On The Oche: Staked 2pts, +2.305pts, roi 115.25%
Total roi: 9.63%

Sunday, 22 July 2012

At last!

...we had a day when both sides of the portfolio - racing and sports - had a decent time of it! It seems to have been a long time coming.

Saturday's Betting

Good to see On The Nose picking out a few to run well. A winner proved elusive but three each way horses placed at good odds to provide a pretty decent return on the day (Buck Mulligan - Market Rasen - 14/1, Benbane Head - Market Rasen - 11/1, and Bertiewhittle - Ascot - 25/1). Good tipping in anyone's book.

Northern Monkey found a winner too (Muffin Mcleay - Ripon - 5/2) amongst their three. Only The Market Examiner drew a blank (0/3).

I've said it before recently, but Summer Of Football is having a heck of a time of it just at present. Another two winners from two yesterday (plus more overnight). I'll stick a few thoughts on this service down later in the week.

On The Oche sprung into action with the start of the World Matchplay and found one winner from two for an overall profit on the day (Andy Smith to beat Paul Nicholson - 1.61/1). Profit too, for Form Lab Lite with three Scandinavian winners from six bets. The only service not to turn a profit was Service X which had a busy night but were successful with just five successful bets from eleven.

So, most of Friday's losses recouped and a few additional winners overnight on the football. Dare we think we're entering a decent period?

Saturday, 21 July 2012


Friday's Betting

I've got to admit, I found Friday a touch demoralizing. After a week of unspectacular but steady gains, which will do for me, to see all the profit handed back to the bookmakers in just one, horrible day, was a bit much.

Northern Monkey and The Market Examiner were the only two racing services to play and both had identical records (0/4).

The real culprit in financial terms though was Sportyy. Five losing bets proved expensive. I've not timed my joining Sportyy well. I had been waiting and waiting through the winter to join at the beginning of June with the thought that it would provide the portfolio with some impetus in terms of turnover over the quieter summer months. I'm not saying that I shouldn't have joined - the service has a fine longer term track record - but to get off to a poor start is frustrating.

Form Lab Lite joined in the carnage with two unsuccessful bets from two. The only service to pull it's weight was Service X which found two winners from three bets, including the silky Brazilians to beat Stewart Pearce's cloggers -1 on the Asian Handicap. On the evidence of that match, Team GB need to improve a touch (massively) to hold any thoughts of winning gold.

Talking of the Olympics, I've got to say I'm getting (slightly) excited about them now. I'm a cynical old git when it comes to these things, but I resolved that I would make some attempt at enthusiasm for the kids' sake. Tell yourself something is true often enough, and you end up believing it. It's like that with the Olympics...I've told myself so many times that I will enjoy it, I think I actually might.

Friday, 20 July 2012


It's been a long week.

Very quick update tonight. Apparently burgers, chips and Ice Age 2 is imminent!

Thursday's Betting

Good day, yesterday.

Northern Monkey continued in it's rich vein of form this week. Another winner (Snow Flower - Bath - 9/2) and another placed from two bets. The single Winning Racing Tips sole selection finished placed at 5/1 so all square there.

Service X turned a profit with two winners from two bets, Summer Of Football finished more or less even with two from four, and Form Lab Lite secured two winning bets from three.

Sorry to be so brief, but the smell of those burgers is reaching me and I'm salivating over the keyboard. I'm offski.

Have a good and profitable weekend.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Football Betting Tutorial

I'm really enjoying The Football Analyst blog at the moment. Graeme's ongoing analysis makes for fascinating reading. The post I read last night about the many different ways to utilise the top notch System 7-22 was a real eye opener. If you have any interest in football betting, even if you're not a member of this particular service, you really do need to go and read it if you haven't done so already. In a beautifully succinct way, it sums up the reasons why as a gambler you should be measuring your returns in terms of ROC and to avoid getting hung up simply on the ROI figures. Graeme demolishes the myth that as a gambler, you should be constantly trying to maximise your levels of roi in order to make high level profits, and to hell with anything else (not that I'm saying that's what we do, but I must admit, it is easy to fall into this way of thinking). Add to that an insight into the power of Asian Handicap betting as a means to alleviating risk levels and increasing ROC (and consequently the potential to maximise bottom line cash profits), and you have a tutorial in footie betting that is impossible to do anything other than gain an awful lot from.

I record my own results in terms of roi, as you know. This will change at the appropriate time, which at the moment I'm thinking will be when the UK and main European leagues start up again in August. At that point I will record my results for each sports service in terms of both ROI and ROC, which I think will make interesting reading as the season progresses.

Just as an aside, have you seen the lineup for the King George on Saturday? Mouthwatering. I've got to say, I'm more of a jumps man myself - Cheltenham over Royal Ascot any day for me, but this race has really grabbed my imagination. Should be a cracker.

Wednesday's Betting

Another gently profitable day, much like the day before.

I mentioned the struggles of On The Nose the other day, but as I mentioned, this has not been alone amongst racing services in terms of making losses. Northern Monkey suffered a June to forget, and July had started in much the same way. Amazing how quickly things can change though. Two winners from two on Tuesday, and one from one yesterday, at rather tasty odds too (Sheila's Buddy - Sandown - 20/1)! That's two 20/1 winners in the space of five days. Heh.

July took a further turn for the worse for Winning Racing Tips though, as an each way single and double both bit the dust.

Summer Of Football's recent form figures read: Played 24, Won 16, Drawn 2, Lost 6. Not at all bad, eh? And two from two yesterday!

Unfortunately the football overall showed a small loss, as Service X could find only a split stake winner from four bets. Better was to come in the early morning games but those will be reported tomorrow.

Right then. I'm off to bed with the Weekender to read all about Ascot on Saturday. It's a glamorous life I lead, don't you think?

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Golf betting

As most of you are aware I'm sure, The Open starts tomorrow. I used to really enjoy a flutter on the golf. Before I got into gambling properly, I'd often strike a couple of bets on the US Tour tournaments, and then settle down to watch on Sky on the Sunday evening, and not just in the majors. I found it tremendously relaxing - calm, non-sensationalist commentary, beautiful sun-drenched courses, the sound of birds filling the air.

Mrs TPI got into it too, to such an extent that I remember one year she booked holidays from work so that she could veg all day in front of the telly whilst the Ryder Cup was on.

Keith Elliott's 'Golf Form Book' was my guide. The 'Nappy' factor, course form, improved performances in players turning 30 or 40. It was fun picking out my selections, and I don't mind admitting, I found the odd fancy-priced winner.

Now though, I have no interest in gambling on golf. Which is a shame. I've seen some useful golf tipsters come and seemingly go again. I think the SBC had the golf tipsters on 'Sportinglife' in their Hall of Fame at one point. I believe Keith Elliott is still going in terms of a tipping service, and the chap in the SBC forum seems to know what he's doing. My problem is that I can't be doing with the massively long losing runs, and as far as having a fun bet is concerned...well, I just can't strike up the enthusiasm. I put so many bloody bets on every day, placing another is a real chore. Daft, I know.

Anyway, if you are having a bet or three on The Open, best of luck. Could make for an exciting Sunday afternoon with a bit of luck.

Tuesday's Betting

A mildly profitable day.

Nice to see Northern Monkey find another two to run well and two winners from two bets (Mingun Bell - Southwell - 5/2 and Spirit Of The Law - Yarmouth - 4/1). Both were subject to Rule 4 deductions, but a decent return nonetheless (and better was to come tonight).

The one On The Nose selection finished just out of the frame, and no success for The Market Examiner (0/2).

Football provided profit, with Service X finding two winners from two, but tennis didn't, with Sportyy continuing to struggle (0/3).

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Better late than never.

Sorry about yesterday. Not as sorry though as I was about missing two out of two winning match selections from Form Lab Lite, work commitments ensuring I couldn't access the recommendations. I guess it is at times like these that I wish they would email basic recommendations out to members. I understand their point of view in that by not doing so, a crash in the prices of the bets are avoided, but what happened yesterday was annoying in the extreme. Still, I knew the score when I joined, so I can't blame them.

Anyway, the results for July as of end of play yesterday read like this:

Northern Monkey: Staked 22.5pts, -9.299pts, roi -41.33%
On The Nose: Staked 15.5pts, -0.75pts, roi -4.83%
Winning Racing Tips: Staked 4.4pts, -2.24pts, roi -50.93%
The Market Examiner: Staked 16pts, +7.17pts, roi 44.81%
Total roi -22.67%

Summer Of Football: Staked 20pts, +5.322pts, roi 26.61%
Form Lab Lite: Staked 17pts, +0.48pts, roi 2.82%
Sportyy: Staked 16.5pts, -2.63pts, roi -15.93%
Service X: Staked 122.5pts, +4.533pts, roi 3.7%
Total roi 8.59%

Overall roi: 0.04% (!)

Some thoughts...

What a slog. I have been saying for some time that what I'm experiencing here are consistent losses on the racing which are being cancelled out/limited by consistent profits made by the sports/football tipsters. That trend lasted throughout June and has continued up until this point in July. It is frustrating, to say the least. However, I keep telling myself to the point where it becomes mantra - this is portfolio theory in action. When one part of the portfolio is not firing, the lack of performance is compensated by other parts that are producing the goods.

Having said that, if parts of the portfolio continue to underperform, then they must be scrutinised. Unfortunately for On The Nose, it is currently this service that is coming under most scrutiny. I think readers of this blog know of the respect I have for the talent this tipster has. Through much of last year, he made tipping look easy. But there can be no escaping the fact that this year has been tough. Really tough.

I mentioned to someone in the Comments section the other day that an easy way to decide when to drop a service is to simply draw a line when the bank you have set aside for it has been eaten up. My rule is that the drawdown has to equate to the size of the bank, and if this point is reached, I would stop following - this takes the emotion out of the decision making and it simply becomes a matter of mathematics. My current drawdown on the On The Nose selections is at roughly two thirds of the size of the bank, which is uncomfortably close.

I desperately hope OTN turn it around. I have faith that it will, demonstrated by the fact that I resubscribed only last week, taking advantage of the generous offer for rates of renewal that essentially mean that we get five months for the price of three. I'm praying for an end to the shocking weather and a subsequent consistency of ground conditions; I'm convinced that if we get that, then OTN will be knocking in the winners with the regularity I so enjoyed through 2011.

We can see from the figures above though that On The Nose is far from being alone as a racing tipster struggling at the moment. Only The Market Examiner is showing a profit for the month to date. Northern Monkey has been unable to buck the trend of recent losses but has shown signs of a return to form. Saturday saw a nice 20/1 winner (although it was staked conservatively and was subject to a 10p Rule 4 deduction, but still), had a big bet yesterday that placed and ran very well, and two winners from two selections today that aren't accounted for in the figures above.

Winning Racing Tips are playing things very carefully at the moment, citing the weather as reason enough for not getting involved on more than one occasion. Unfortunately the bets they are chosing aren't doing too well, but nothing to worry about at all just yet.

Thursday and Saturday were horrible days last week, and I thought I would be talking about significant losses in this update. That I'm not is down to a great Sunday on the football. Summer Of Football repeated last weekend's heroics by repeating the feat this weekend, calling four right from five, and getting stakes back on the fifth! Form Lab Lite weighed in with four from five too, and then Service X produced four winners from seven bets, but only one loser. Put together, this essentially clawed back the heavy losses suffered last week.

The only sports service to disappoint at the moment is Sportyy. Despite the occasional flash of excellence, I've yet to see this service hit it's straps. I'm sure it's only a matter of time.

So there we have the month to date. That 0.04% roi amounts to £1.86. Not even enough to fund the purchase of this week's Weekender. :(

Onwards and upwards!

Monday, 16 July 2012


Things have turned up at work which means I'm extremely short of time. I can only apologise.

I'll try and stick up the Week 2 results tomorrow.

Bear with me.

Friday, 13 July 2012


Really short of time this evening, but to be honest, the less I dwell on what was a horrible day yesterday, the better.

Thursday's Betting

Let's keep this short.

Northern Monkey (0/3), On The Nose (0/3), Sportyy (0/3). The only small return on one of Service X's two bets.

Usual results-only posts over the weekend then back properly on Monday. Let's hope things pick up over the weekend.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

When to pass judgement.

So, the comment I posted up yesterday.

You know, on reflection, I think there are too many issues raised within it to attempt to address them all within just the one post. Instead, let's take it paragraph by paragraph. Here is the first one again:

"The reason I am commenting today is because it seems to me that a lot of the SBC members have bought into being able to make long term profits by paying for an "experts" tips.Its unlikely that anyone using a portfolio in a less organised way than yourself will improve on the figures you report to achieve. I dont know what the people at SBc tell you with regards to service performances,losing sequences ect but for any racing service not to be in profit by the end of June suggests incompetence. If any of the services you or anyone else subscribes to cannot turn a profit after say 100 bets they have demonstrated a very real weakness in their methodology.Forget variance after 100 bets there is no excuse.I expect you will believe 100 bets is simple too few a number to judge but unless the service is tipping min odds of 33/1 100 bets is plenty."

I've thought about this paragraph long and hard. I confess that my immediate reaction when reading it for the first time was that I really didn't agree. And after further consideration, I have to say I still don't. Later sections of the overall comment, which I'll address at a later date, I do think hold a lot of merit, but I just can't accept this first paragraph.

To my mind, 100 bets is not a sufficient sample from which to draw definitive conclusions. I've mentioned Matt of Football Elite/On The Oche a fair bit recently, but I'd like to use something that Matt sent out to Football Elite members at the end of the 2010/11 season and which really struck a chord with me. It was a breakdown of the On The Oche performance on a yearly basis since service inception. Here it is:

2007 - Bets 90 -- Winners 57 -- Profit/loss + 80.18 pts -- ROI 94.3%
2008 - Bets 113 -- Winners 62 -- Profit/loss + 27.24 pts -- ROI 24.7%
2009 - Bets 97 -- Winners 55 -- Profit/loss + 23.12 pts -- ROI 25.1%
2010 - Bets 96 -- Winners 33 -- Profit/loss -12.27 pts -- ROI -13.6%
2011 - Bets 154 -- Winners 76 -- Profit/loss + 36.69 pts -- ROI 35.9%

Now, looking at 2010 - 96 bets and a loss of just over twelve points. If the conclusion to draw from such performance demonstrated the erosion of the edge that this service had previously established, then any subscriber would have to leave the service at the start of 2011, would they not? What would have happened if they had done that? They'd have missed out on nearly 37 points of profit, and a yearly roi performance of 35.9% achieved in 2011. I guess that edge that had been eroded had been built back up again!

Me? Well, I bailed out before the end of 2010, daft bugger that I am, only to rejoin again having realised the error of my ways. The serious point to make though is that these figures represent, to my mind at least, hard evidence that 100 bets is not a sufficient sample from which to decide that a tipster has lost their ability.

If a tipster goes through their bank, then that is a different matter, and if they did that in two bets or a thousand, I would take that as being a sign that at the very least, the existence of an edge for that service is doubtful. To the extent whereby I would stop following, it is as simple as that. I wouldn't allow for a resetting of banks either - I'm not one for adjusting the size of a bank just because a record drawdown has been experienced. The bank is the bank. End of.

I realise though that this is simply subjective opinion. Everybody will have a different approach to their decision-making when it comes to judging whether or not a service's edge has been so eroded that it is no longer worth following that service. If the chap who left the comment has been gambling successfully for twenty years, and I have no reason to doubt his word, then what works for him works for him, and who am I to argue?

Any opinions?

Wednesday's Betting

Another more or less break even day, despite the best efforts of The Market Examiner, which had a fine winner amongst their three bets (Qualypso Dallier - Worcester - 10/1). Sam is now sending videos of winning selections. Watching this one, Qualypso Dallier won in a style that warms the cockles of a punter's heart, ie. laughing at it's "competitors" and drawing upon it's cigar whilst cheekily flicking the Vs as it saunters cockily to the line. Sweet.

Having said all that, the racing still produced an overall loss on the day, albeit just a small one. Winning Racing Tips is struggling to get going this month and had a loser plus an each way double; the first leg won, the second leg finished second so a small profit on that bet but a deficit overall. Northern Monkey returned from a short break but with no success (0/2), and an identical record for On The Nose.

Sportyy followed up the previous day's heroics with another winner from two bets (Brown to beat Paire at 9/4). Service X found five bets, within which were two wins, two losses and a void bet - a small loss in total and more or less negating the small profit provided by Sportyy.

So, still treading water. It's been a long time since we had one of those days when a lot of profit is made in one fell swoop. The month is in profit, but not by much. Feels like a war of attrition at the moment. Bring it on!

Right then. As I've intimated, I think there is more to examine in the comment upon which this post has been based. Trouble is, I'm not going to have the time tomorrow, and you know blogging in detail over the weekend is against my religion. So Monday it is then.


Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Investors In People

No, I'm not going to go all corporate employee on you and start spouting nonsense about various bullshit workplace schemes and such. There'll be no blue sky thinking here chaps. Nope, straight from the get-go, you need to get with the program, yeah?

Enough of that. I'm depressing myself.

Matt of FE and OTO fame left a comment after last night's post that summed up nicely where I'm coming from with regard to tipsters and how they retain their edge over time.

"It's an interesting topic. Can an edge erode over time? Absolutely. Is that erosion speeded up if you go public with that edge in the form of a tipster service? Almost certainly.

However that only applies to a specific, definable tactic/strategy/system IMO. For most services the edge comes from the tipster himself and his ability to find himself a gap in the market and evolve over time.

A parallel I think would be a successful football manager. Would Fergie be successful nowadays if he was still using the same approach he was at Aberdeen in the 80's? Almost certainly not he has had to evolve his approach over time. His "edge" is himself, not a specific tactic, formation or man-management style. That and a continued fresh supply of new refs every few years!

What I was trying to say in yesterday's post was this: when we as investors decide to put money into following a tipping service, it is actually the tipster that we are investing in, not the tipster's fundamental methodology or system. We are investing in the person and their ability to maintain their edge, and if that person is incapable of doing this, in the long run we will lose money following them. That is an inevitability if we accept that over time either the market adjusts to negate the tipster's edge, or what happens to a successful service with increasing membership numbers and all that goes with that will threaten the edge that service has previously demonstrated it possesses.

If we take this to it's logical conclusion, then what we are saying here is that when deciding on which services to follow, we should in an ideal world only choose services whose operators had proven their ability to adapt and maintain their edge over a significant period of time. By significant, I reckon we must be thinking in terms of four or five years?

In the real world though, it's not that easy. I wouldn't want to wait four years before following Graeme Dand's The Football Analyst systems. I'd have missed out on two years of good profits and have another two years to sit twiddling my thumbs. Why did I jump in with these systems? A combination of seeing how the systems had been developed and gut instinct allied to complete faith in Graeme's ability as an analyst. That's right - it wasn't his systems per se that I bought into...it was the guy's ability to develop them successfully.

What we can do of course, is to balance our portfolio in such a way that we stake more overall on those long-serving, 100% proven services. Does it not make sense to stake more over the course of a season with say, Skeeve, who has six seasons of producing top level profits, than with Summer Of Football, who have done very well but over "just" 15/16 months? And that is no disrespect to SoF by the way. Another 15 months or so of repeat performance, then obviously staking levels could and should be brought into line with the likes of Skeeve and Football Elite.

Do I structure my own staking in this way? No. I don't. But I think I should, and part of my big August sit down, where I finalise my attack plan for Season 2012/13 will perhaps see me implement this strategy.

As is my wont, I've digressed a little here. I haven't finished yet with the subject of proven edges that erode over time that I wanted to address after the following, interesting comment was left on the blog last week:

The reason I am commenting today is because it seems to me that a lot of the SBC members have bought into being able to make long term profits by paying for an "experts" tips.Its unlikely that anyone using a portfolio in a less organised way than yourself will improve on the figures you report to achieve. I dont know what the people at SBc tell you with regards to service performances,losing sequences ect but for any racing service not to be in profit by the end of June suggests incompetence. If any of the services you or anyone else subscribes to cannot turn a profit after say 100 bets they have demonstrated a very real weakness in their methodology.Forget variance after 100 bets there is no excuse.I expect you will believe 100 bets is simple too few a number to judge but unless the service is tipping min odds of 33/1 100 bets is plenty.
I tried to tell the guy who blogged "my betting life" to ditch all the racing sevices except systematic. A simple analysis of ML's advices will enable to reproduce his future bets better still invest in a system builder and create your own systems.
Tipsters used to be thought of as con artists then the clever people got involved marketing themselves as hard working and trustworthy. If these service providers are so hard working how come they cant find a way to beat simple racing systems that continue to outperform them year after year.
Why would anyone offer their edge for sale , its not because they cant get on and if it were where does that leave the subscribers , ultimately in the same position. Most of the services have such a tiny edge that they struggle to show a profit to ind sp. 90% of my bets are in the live market just before the off when all the info has been factored in. almost 100% of service providers' bets are at early odds so its no suprise that bookies close the accounts of punters taking the best of it .

I thought I'd post this up today, and then talk about it tomorrow, as it raises a lot of interesting issues. I should add a little context now though, in that the comment was written by someone who has been betting on horses for a living for the last twenty years. I have no reason at all to not believe that claim and am happy to assume it is true. In which case, the opinion should be noted carefully.

Tuesday's Betting

No racing bets! None. Niente. Nada. Nowt. Is it February?

Sportyy though, had a stormer. Three from three. Heh!

And that was it.

Well, that was a bit of a mish mash of a post, wasn't it? I shall try to be a little more focused tomorrow. 'Til then.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Danger! Erosion!

You know there are times when I am a right dozy git! The sharper eyed of you will know what it is I am referring to. Those needing metaphorical contact lenses and missed it? Too bad. I'm moving on. Swiftly.

I have read in many different places warnings of how it is inevitable that a tipster that has a proven edge on the book will, over time, have that edge eroded.

How and why is this so?

I can see why it might become harder to maintain a certain level of profit when following a certain tipping service and that over time a subscriber might go from recording a 15% roi figure to say, 12% or lower (arbitrary figures). As a service increases in popularity as a result of receiving more and more recognition from blogs, independent review bodies and the like (bloody bloggers!), more people stake more money on the service's selections, forcing prices to contract quickly after bet release. Hence, the long time follower may find that he is securing an average price on his bets that is marginally but significantly lower than the average odds he was securing when the service was not so well known, especially if he can't get on the bet as soon as it hits his inbox. The size of the edge gained from following that service is therefore reduced. I get that.

What about services though that don't attract such an immediate pressure on price through sheer weight of money coming from subscribers? Or those that play in highly liquid markets that can absorb more money before layers are forced into cutting the prices they offer? I have read in more than one place that any tipster/service is threatened by an erosion of the edge that they have carved out for themselves that can be seen over time, simply because the market "adjusts". What I have never read is an explanation as to why this might be so.

The whys and wherefores are one thing. A different thing entirely is the tipster's ability to adjust their style and methods to counter this seemingly inevitable erosion of their edge. This is surely reliant upon the tipster's ability to conduct some insightful self-analysis. I remember mentioning how impressed I had been by Skeeve's end of season review, and how it drew conclusions as to the best way forward for his service. I know Matt of Football Elite and On The Oche does similar, Paul of Winning Racing Tips too. I mention these services specifically, as they represent the longest serving tipsters in my portfolio.

It is interesting though that the methods that these guys use to find their bets remain fundamentally unaltered. And at the risk of me sounding as if I'm downplaying their talent (because I'm really not - I don't pretend for one second that I could do what they do), those methods are fairly basic. And yet over a period of years, they have each maintained an roi of 12%+ against a market that is placing constant pressure on their ability to stay ahead of the game.

More on this tomorrow.

Monday's Betting

Horses have an ability to make you look foolish that is second to nothing else that I know of. Five minutes after I posted yesterday's blog post, in which I spoke optimistically about how the On The Nose selections were generally running much better than they had been, we had the one On The Nose bet of the day running at Ripon. I say run. More stumble, jog on the spot a bit, do a few warm up stretches, before sighing resignedly and trotting off in the direction of the other nags whose arses were fast disappearing into the distance. You have to laugh.

No luck for the one The Market Examiner selection either.

In fact, yesterday wasn't the greatest. Three Sportyy bets and not one winner. One thoroughly beaten, another losing a third set tie break, and the other losing having won the first set 6-1.

I guess it just wasn't my day.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Week 1, July 2012

As mentioned previously, I thought that instead of reporting the profit/loss performance of each service on a daily basis, I'd report instead each Monday, and make the odd comment.

First though...

Sunday's Betting

Again, just On The Nose providing any interest in the racing yesterday. Two selections, both of which ran very well at decent prices to finish second in their respective races. Only one of them was backed each way though (Jamsie Hall - Limerick - 10/1); enough to bag a very small overall profit.

Fairly busy with the football and a very good weekend for Summer Of Football who yesterday found winners in Brazil (x4), and the MLS (x1). Just one outright loser and another void bet for a strong return overall. A fair proportion of that profit was eroded though by Form Lab Lite, which could find just one winner from four matches played in, and Service X which were two from five (plus one void bet).

So, Week 1 of July 2012.

Well, I mentioned on Saturday that it had been a break even day, and Week 1 has been just a little better than a break even week. The roi is currently running at 3.71%.

The doldrums that the racing side of the portfolio found itself stuck in through June has to a large extent continued. Wayne at Northern Monkey has decided that with the weather being as it is and the racing being pretty uninspring this week, that he should take a holiday and I can't help feeling that it is a sensible move. The ridiculous weather must be making things tricky identifying good bets and Wayne's form hasn't been too great recently. No returns in Week 1 is testament to that.

Similarly Winning Racing Tips has found the going tough, but On The Nose has shown an encouraging return to form. It's not just some profits being made, but the horses The Judge is now picking seem to be running much better than they had for a large part of last month. Sunday was typical, with two good runs from two selections at 8/1 and 10/1.

Finally, a big tip of the hat in the direction of The Market Examiner who found a lovely 12/1+ winner on Friday to provide a good first week's profit.

Northern Monkey: Staked 7.75pts, -7.75pts, roi -100%
On The Nose: Staked 7.5pts, +7.25pts, roi 96.66%
The Sportsman Racing: N/A
Winning Racing Tips: Staked 2pts, -1.331pts, roi -66.55%
The Market Examiner: Staked 7pts, +6.17pts, roi 88.14%

Total racing roi: -8.05%

As mentioned above, a great weekend for Summer of Football, which means that the first week of July has been a good one for this service. Service X has been solid without pulling up any trees, and a disappointing week for Form Lab Lite.

Summer Of Football: Staked 12pts (£600), +2.058pts (+£102.92), roi 17.15%
Form Lab Lite: Staked 10pts (£400), -0.622pts (-£24.90), roi -6.22%
Service X: Staked 67pts, +4.461pts, roi 6.65%

Total football roi: 7.34%.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Going nowhere.

Saturday's Betting

Very much a break even day. With Northern Monkey taking a holiday and with the weather playing havoc with ground conditions, there was only On The Nose in action on the nags, and no success enjoyed (0/5). Staking was relatively conservative though so no huge damage done.

As far as the footie is concerned, Summer of Football called two from three correctly, the winners both coming from Brazil. The one Form Lab Lite bet - from Finland - was a loser. Service X managed three from four for a nice enough profit.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Rain stopped play.

Friday's Betting

Due to the rotten, horrible, dastardly, godforsaken, crap weather, only Northern Monkey and The Market Examiner had bets yesterday. Three of them from Northern Monkey with no returns, but the one TME bet was a stormer (Hot Diggety - Sandown - 12.17/1)!

Friday, 6 July 2012

Welcome to my weekly surgery...

I was left a comment yesterday by someone seeking advice. Goodness! Are there folk out there who think I actually know what I'm doing?

Here's the question...

Hi Rowan i know you have been doing this for a while could i ask your advice on something.

I am struggling with my staking for example i have two services that i play 80 pound per point. The problem is one service has a staking plan of half a point per selection and the other service has a selection on average of about 1.5 per point. So i am having 40 per point on the first service selections and 120 pound on the second services selections this does not seem correct or does it balance itself out in the long term.

All I can suggest is the way I cover staking. This isn't for everyone, and ultimately I think the individual needs to do what they feel most comfortable with when it comes to any aspect of gambling. I believe that you can adhere to all the rules set out by portfolio theory but still make a mess of things if you don't feel comfortable with what you're doing. So much of this game is psychological.

Anyway, re. the two services. My approach is to look at what the overall staking can reasonably be expected to be over a decent period of time. I look at a year.

Let me try and use an axample to illustrate how I go about working things out re. staking.

Let's take Northern Monkey and On The Nose. In 2011, Northern Monkey staked a total of 400pts (399.63 to be precise), whilst On The Nose staked 530 points. I'm trying to work out how much the £/pt value should be for 2012.

Now, the theory I adhere to is that in a portfolio, over a certain period of time, you want to be staking more or less the same amount on each service. You have to assume here that these services are both proven and you have confidence in each (otherwise why follow them at all?). Why do we stake the same on each service? Well, Northern Monkey has a long term roi of 19%, On The Nose 17%. In other words if you stake, say for ease of figures, £10k on each throughout 2012, then on past performance levels you should make £1,900 profit with NMP and £1,700 with OTN. Very acceptable, I'm sure you'll agree. Additionally, if you're staking roughly the same on each service and one of them has a shocker, you are not running the risk of exacerbating your losses by staking a lot more on this one than you are on the more successful service. So theoretically, if a service has a 'mare, the losses will be countered by the profits made by the other.

So, back to our example.

Say we want to stake £10k on both NMP and OTN in 2012. For NMP, we divide £10k by the 400 points staked in 2011 and that gives us a £/pt value of £25 (£10,000/400 = £25). The same calculation for OTN gives us a £/pt value of £18.86. Let's round up the OTN figure to £20 (I'm not going to be putting £9.43 on a half point win OTN tip - the bookies will think I'm arbing!).

And there we have it. That's how I calculate my £/pt values for each of my services on an annual basis.

Of course, this is all based on theory and on past staking levels. This can cause problems moving forwards. What if, for example, a tipster suddenly changes strategy slightly and gives significantly more or fewer bets out? I think the thing to realise is that you're never going to have it spot on, but if you're following established services, predicting future staking levels shouldn't be that tricky.

To take it further, just work back from the starting point of how much you want to make from a service in a year. In other words, for Service C which has a long term roi of 15%, I want to make £2k clear profit after subs fees next year. How much do I need to stake (ie. turn over) to enable me to make this based on historical performance, and hence what is my £/pt value to be? Naturally, once you have worked this out, you know the requisite size of bank for that service too.

I hope that helps, and answers the question. If not, just let me know and I'll have another crack at it. Of course, all this theory goes out the window if the tipsters involved forget how to tip a winner or two!

Thursday's Betting

Well, well, well. How nice it is to report on both the horses and football making a profit on the same day!

Racing plaudits to On The Nose. Two win bets from two - (Brockwell - Haydock - 4/1 and John Biscuit - Epsom - 11/2). Well played that man!

Winning Racing Tips had one bet that finished in the frame for a small loss, and no luck for Northern Monkey (0/2) or The Market Examiner (0/1).

Success overnight for Summer of Football (1/1) and Service X (1/1).

That's more like it.

Listen chaps, have a great weekend. Despite the weather, eh? Rain, rain and more rain. Still, the precipitation is nowhere near that of the floods of tears that have rolled down my cheeks since RVP made his little statement. But I'm over it now, and hold no bitterness towards him. Honest.


Thursday, 5 July 2012

Blink and you'll miss it.

Poorly daughter. Need to keep things brief.

Wednesday's Betting

Well, yesterday fell nicely into the recent trend of losing money on the horses and winning a bit of it back again on the football.

No joy anywhere on the nags...On The Nose (0/1), Northern Monkey (0/2), and Winning Racing Tips (0/1).

Form Lab Lite (1/1) hit a winner in the States overnight. Service X hit three from six for a small loss.

I am aware that a couple of comments have been left, one of them very kind. I do want to respond and hopefully will have time to do so tomorrow.

Right now, I need to go and wash out the sick bowl. Lovely.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

The best laid plans...

I mentioned yesterday that I was pleased that I'd been able to get myself into the position where I could do some experimenting this summer. Something I identified last year was that the summer months, with no football betting and the consequent decline in turnover and lower levels of diversity within the "active" potfolio, was a weakness that left me vulnerable at this time of year. I was also concerned that with fewer racing services being followed this summer than last, the level of vulnerability had gone up a notch or two.

Looking back at last month's performance, I'm grateful that I took some action. Had it been left to the racing services alone, last month's performance would have been poor indeed. As it was, an ok level of profit from the various summer football/sports services meant that the losses were very well controlled.

Of course the very best plans are sometimes affected for the worse by events that are completely out of our hands. Take my joining Sportyy, for example. As a tennis expert and as a service with a relatively high number of selections, I thought the summer months would provide plenty of action and this service alone would boost levels of turnover significantly. Alas not.

Not long after subscribing, the brains behind the thus far highly impressive service announced a short holiday, but that my subs period would be extended appropriately. Fair enough. At the end of last week, and after a fairly subdued start to Wimbledon in terms of number of bets struck, another email arrived saying that due to personal reasons, there would be a period of inactivity. Again, my subs period would be extended.

Now please don't get hold of the wrong end of the stick here. This is no criticism of Sportyy in any way at all. Tipsters aren't immune from the need to go on holiday or from the various issues and challenges that life will quite happily throw at anyone. This isn't a moan. No. It's just an axample of how, no matter how much we plan things, we sometimes have to simply shrug our shoulders and get on with it. Take things as they come a little more, perhaps, instead of worrying about things we have no control over.

Tell myself all of this often enough, I might just end up starting to believe it.

Tuesday's Betting

Again, it was very quiet yesterday.

A very small win bet for Northern Monkey which ended up drifting violently in the market before running no sort of race at all. No joy either for On The Nose (0/1) or The Market Examiner (0/1).

And that was it.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Some clarification

I was sent an email the other day asking how I was going to follow all the football services I've mentioned recently, once the main European leagues and all the UK leagues start up again in a few weeks time. As they pointed out, I was going be placing a huge number of bets if following so many services.

It struck me that perhaps I hadn't clarified my position properly. The football services I'm following at this very moment in time are essentially on a trial period that covers the summer period. This policy has been aimed at achieving two clear objectives.

1. To provide the quieter summer months with increased turnover; and

2. To spot potential for a service to become a permanent fixture in the portfolio, based on issues of practicality and ease of following.

The services that fall into this category are Summer Of Football, Form Lab Lite, Sportyy and the mysterious Service X. What I am pleased about is that I've been able to manoeuvre myself into the position where I could run these trials this summer. I'm hoping that these three summer months will prove to be highly informative and provide options in the future, when if things go according to plan, the time will come when expansion is the right thing to do.

With this context provided, you can see I'm still working towards finalising the make up of the football/sports side of the portfolio for when the new season starts. Nothing is set in stone at this stage, other than Skeeve, Football Elite, and The Sportsman. I'm still not at all sure what strategy I'll be utilising with The Football Analyst systems for Season 2012/13. It's all a work in progress.

I have discussed at length in earlier posts how the portfolio is, as time goes on, going to be increasingly weighted towards football and sports betting and less towards horse racing (and this process has already started of course, as we've seen over the last two or three months). This isn't necessarily signified though through following a lot more sports services; it's more likely to be represented by heavier overall staking. One question I haven't answered for myself yet is whether I'm better following more services with lower stakes (due to the wider spread) or fewer services with higher stakes. Portfolio theory suggests the investor is better with numerous smaller bets/trades, a pattern that reduces the effects of variance. The thing is of course, is that subs fees have to be accounted for, and therefore it is easy to fall into the trap of not staking enough on some services because of spreading the betting bank too thinly. I'd be interested on the point of views of others on this matter, so don't be shy...you know where the 'Comments' box is. :)

Talking of which, an interesting comment was left underneath yesterday's post that raised a few subjects that deserve deeper coverage. I'll start on that shortly, I think.

Monday's Betting

Very, very quiet yesterday. Just two (losing) bets, a small one from Winning Racing Tips and one from Form Lab Lite.

Monday, 2 July 2012

To watch, or not to watch, ...

...that is the question:
Whether 'tis Nobler in the mind to watch
The Slings and Arrows of outrageous Fortune on Racing UK,

I reckon old Bill was a punter.

Something that I have posted about before is watching the horses you've backed and listening out for goals as they go in in matches in which you have a financial interest and how theoretically it is probably better for the sake of your sanity if you don't.

My own feelings on this is that I find watching the horses I've had a bet on quite enjoyable. My routine to date has been to Sky Plus the racing and watch the relevant races when I get home. During the working week, unless there is a big Royal Ascot/Festival meeting on, there are only a handful of races to watch, so it's not too time consuming.

However, for a one month trial, I'm not going to.

June has been a tough, tough month on the horses and at times it did get a little wearisome watching loser after loser with very little respite in the form of winners. So, let's try the other way; the prescribed method of approaching betting - place the bets and go do something else.

I might even go as far as to check results only when I get to the office first thing in the morning. That way if the previous day had been a bad'un, there'd be no time to get at all worked up about it as I'd be into the working day and all that involves.

Let's try it for a month and see how it goes.

Sunday's Betting

A mildly profitable start to the month as two good winners managed to counter a higher number of losers.

On The Nose managed to get July off to a flyer with just the one bet being a very well backed winner (Emmaslegend - Uttoxeter - 10/1). Let's hope this month sees On The Nose rediscover their mojo because when things are going to plan, their mojo is quite the thing of beauty!

No such luck for Northern Monkey (0/2) or The Market Examiner (0/3).

The nice winner on the footie was Spain's winning of Euro 2012 with what I thought was a sumptuous display. They were Form Lab Lite's antepost pick at 3/1. A third of that profit was knocked off though by their other antepost pick - Fernando Llorente to be top scorer. Perhaps the less said about that one the better. A tiny bit of profit was added though by Spain's keeping of a clean sheet last night, although a 1-0 victory would have been more profitable.

Not a great weekend allround for Summer Of Football and three losers (or two and a half, to be wholly accurate) yesterday.

A small profit for Service X with three winners, a void bet and a loser from five. Trouble is, the loser was more heavily staked than the winners. Such is life.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

June review

I want to keep June's performance review as top line as possible, simply because my own results are not really representative of the service's themselves due to my missing a week of it when on holiday. To give just one example, my personal WRT figures are considerably worse than the "actual" figures the service attained as I know for a fact I missed a 14/1 winner.

So, please forgive me for my general vagueness, although I will give my actual total figures at the end.

Basically, the month has been a nightmare for my betting on horses (The Market Examiner aside, whose efforts are all the more admirable bearing in mind the shocking weather over the month that must have made life difficult for racing tipsters), but acceptably decent on football.

With the exception of The Market Examiner, it's been a month to forget on the nags. The roi figures for Northern Monkey, On The Nose and Winning Racing Tips were all very similar (in fact within 2% of each other), and were all very clearly in negative territory.

The football has been promising. My main aim of increasing turnover during the quiet months has been achieved, although the poor performance of the racing services has meant that a loss has been accrued despite this. However, the overall loss would have been much worse than the actual £244.72 that was accrued had I not diversified as I did. This in itself I think, is a triumph for the diversified portfolio approach to gambling.

None of the football services have had storming months, but together they negated 70% of the racing losses.

The actual figures for the month state that £9,694 was staked, and a loss of £244.72 suffered, an roi of -2.52%.

Half way through 2012 and it has to be said it has been a very tough year so far. This has been the first losing month, but January was a break even month and there has not yet been a month which has produced a profit of over £1,000, which is disappointing. After the cost of subscriptions has been deducted, the profit stands at a shade over £2k and at an roi of just 4.15%. Tough going.

These periods of slow growth have been endured previously though, and in the past have been followed by spurts of growth. The lessons from history that I have taken is that an roi of 4.15% can be seen as being decent once given the context provided by future performance. In other words, if the second half of 2012 brings in good profits, the relatively stale 4.15% growth over the first half of 2012 is considered as the portfolio doing it's job, ie. avoiding large scale losses when things aren't going well.

Of course, there are no guarantees of strong profits being made between now and the end of the year. That's why to my mind, serious gambling is so testing mentally - you just never know how things are going to progress.

As far as moving forward on the blog is concerned, I do need to make a slight alteration to the way I record the results. As I mentioned yesterday, I am beginning to use BetButler more. This has been forced on me by the continued closing of bookmaker accounts. The BOG accounts I have still available are those with BetInternet, BetFred (amazingly!), Paddy Power (restricted), Corbett Sports (restricted), and Hills. I've been completely closed by Boylesports (of course), Sportingbet (of course), Skybet (of course), Ladbrokes (shame), Bet365 (shame), Stan James (pfft!) and can only get minimal amounts on at Corals, Bodog, 888/Bluesq and Totesport. The trouble is, BetButler don't seem to necessarily update accounts on the day of placing the bet, especially those bets that run in the evening. I can't just report on what I think the returns might be because commission needs to be deducted and to be quite frank, I can't be bothered to work it out every night. So what I'm going to do is give a general run down on what happened during the day, and then give weekly figures.

The other thing to note is that I have joined (yet) another football service to provide that important turnover during the summer months. The problem is though, is that prices are sensitive, and the tipster involved doesn't actually want any extra publicity. The service is closed now anyway to new members, so in the circumstances I'm simply going to call it Service X. Please don't ask what it is, because I've given my word that it shall remain private. I don't wish to be all mysterious but I have to respect the wishes of the gentleman kind enough to let me have first option when a place opened up. The only reason I'm mentioning it at all is that obviously it is going to impact on my bottom line figures that I'll be reporting, one way or the other.

So, there we have it.

Best of luck for July, chaps!